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Posts from the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Cooking with Kerith: Petite Cheesecakes

I adore dessert. In fact- I may have the largest sweet tooth ever. It’s kind of embarrassing.

But my sister had a birthday party recently and she had the coolest theme to it: “A Dessert Party.”

Everyone in the neighborhood brought some form of dessert- but I was seriously impressed with her idea. And I was seriously excited.

Now if there is one dish I have managed to perfect- it’s petite cheesecakes. It’s the one item I have done enough times that I KNOW I can make it in my sleep. For this recipe I doubled it- since one muffin pan only makes 12 cheesecakes and I wanted to mess with two different crusts.


So first order of business you will need:

(For ONE muffin pan)

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 8 oz. blocks of full fat cream cheese (Plain) (Room temp.)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup  White Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs (Room temp.)
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup crushed Nilla Wafers/ Ginger Snaps/ Biscuit of Choice
  • 1 tbsp. granulated white sugar
  • 4 tbps. melted butter

Additionally:

  • Parchment Paper

Place all your ingredients in an easy to see location.

Now first you will measure out 1 cup of Nilla Wafers and One cup of Ginger Snaps. These are your crusts. You will probably throw in 5-7 cookies extra so that it makes a cup of crumbs. Place the items each in a ziploc bag- so ginger snaps in one bag and Nilla wafers in the other. And then beat them. Roll them. Crush them. You need FLAT and broken crumb like cookies that look like this:

Next step is to take your room temperature cream cheese and place it in your handy dandy Kitchen Aid Mixer and let it mix on low. Like this:

Then you add in your sugar and salt until it looks like creamy goodness.

While you are busy mixing the cream cheese and sugar (seriously leave it on low for a while) you will be busying yourself slicing parchment paper into 12 strips. Or in this case 24.  No larger than an inch in width.

Then you spray the pans with nonstick and place the parchment paper in like that. This is how you will magically lift your cheesecakes out of the muffin pan.

Now you head back to the mixer and add in the eggs- one at a time. Until well combined. Then you scrape down the sides and toss in the sour cream and vanilla extract- and you once again let it spend a few minutes mixing on low. Sot hat it goes from picture 1 to picture 2.

While it is mixing into heavenly tasting goodness, you are going to melt your butter and take your tablespoon on white sugar and combine it with your cookie crumbs to make an amazingly tasty crust crumb mixture.

This is what you will press  into the bottom of the muffin pan. Roughly 3/4 of a tablespoon per muffin slot. Also- make sure it’s not piled too high- you have cheesecake mixture to pour on top people!

You then pour one heaped tablespoon of cheesecake filling into each muffin tin. For some reason I had a ton of filling left over- so I ended up pouring it into a graham cracker pie crust as well.

Then you bake at 300(F) for 18-22 minutes. I find 20 to be the golden number.

And they come out looking like this:

All petite and delicious and perfect to have just one!

The recipe that I originally found said not to add lemon zest- the link to the current recipe on Joy of Baking says to add Lemon Zest. I disagree. These are WINNING cheesecakes.
I have made them for bridal showers, parties, weddings, etc. Do not mess with them. Ignore the lemon zest.

And enjoy.

-Kerith

Cooking with Torrie and Kerith: Salmon and Quinoa

I love that we mostly cook lunch meals. But there are days where I want a truly proper meal.

And so I told Torrie I was making salmon.

And she said that’s great. In fact she told me she was going to add quinoa to my meal.

I raised an eyebrow but decided to trust her instincts.

I also had some zucchini in the fridge that needed cooking. Or else I’d have to toss it by the end of the week.

So Salmon, quinoa and zucchini it was.

And it was AWESOME.

What you need:

  • 1 piece of salmon 4 oz.-6 oz.
  • 1 box quinoa (we used Roasted Red Pepper and Basil)
  • 1 zucchini- sliced.
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Old Bay
  • Black Pepper
  • Italian Dressing

 

First- add 2 teaspoons lemon, 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon (heaped) minced garlic and 1teaspoon old bay and mix thoroughly in a bowl. Place Salmon in the mixture and thoroughly coat both sides.

Next, place you quinoa and water in a pot on the stove and add ingredients as listed on the box.(I.e. Olive Oil and Seasoning packet)

Let it cook for 20 minutes as directed on the box.

Slice your zucchini lengthwise so that you can grill it.  Do not massacre it like I did.

And generously brush it with two tablespoons of Italian Dressing.

 

Heat up the grill and place your salmon on a sheet of aluminum foil. Place it on medium-high flame heat for 12 minutes. You don’t have to flip it- it will cook through.

 

When it’s all done- place your grilled zucchini, salmon and complete quinoa on a plate and enjoy every single delicious bite!

-Torrie and Kerith

 

 

Cooking with Torrie and Kerith: Healthy French Toast

I am a breakfast nut. It’s my favorite meal of the day.  So when Torrie and I were talking about the blog and the recipe we wanted to use- I suggested French Toast.

And to my relief- she loved the idea!

So we decided to do healthy french toast with a blueberry sauce. And in order to do the Blueberry sauce- we went and picked our own berries!

Torrie and I both feel very strongly about being educated about where your food comes from. We’re both huge fans of farmer’s markets where you get to interact with the individual who grew your food. Knowing their philosophy on food really makes a huge difference in how you view your fruits/vegetables/meats/cheeses etc. It gives you a strong connection and it really informs you what methods were used to create the food you are absorbing into your bodies.

So we wanted to experience some of that by going berry picking. We found an amazing place near King’s Dominion called “Mt. Olympus Berry Farm.” It’s a really quaint looking building where they hand you your pail and tell you where to go for berries- and you walk to that location and lucky for us- have 8 rows of blueberries to pick from.

The blueberries were just coming into season, it was a gorgeous day and it was so much fun to pick and fill the pail. Of course an occasional sample had to be tried- and the blueberries were AMAZING.

We stopped in and checked out all the other products produced at the farm, including dressings for salad and barbecue, salsa, and preserves of : fig, rhubarb, strawberry, boysenberry ( I bought some- they rock!), blueberry and blackberry. Different apple and pumpkin butters and more.  It was so cool and everything was canned right there!

Check them out on Facebook as well- they keep you up to date on current picking conditions and discount phrases.

Well with all that blueberry goodness- we had to make something delicious with it. So French toast it was.

We started with the Blueberry sauce:

  • Blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed in cold water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • a tiny splash of water

First we place the sugar and water  in a pot on low to simmer.

Then we slowly add the blueberries  and watch them get hot and start to pop.

Once the majority have popped add in the cornstarch water and watch your blueberries transform into a beautiful and richly colored topping.

For the french toast:

  • 1 medium bowl
  • 2 slices Nature’s Own Wheat Bread or similar bread (approx. 50 calories a slice)
  • 3 tablespoons Egg Whites ( available in bulk in the egg section of any grocery store)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

First mix the vanilla, cinnamon and egg whites together.

Then soak your bread slices in the mixture so that they absorb all the flavor.

Toss them onto the frying pan with a little non-stick Pam and cook until egg whites are cooked on both sides.

Place on a plate and top with Blueberry sauce and maybe a dash of Pure maple Syrup.

Smile at the heavenly goodness that is the french toast with blueberry sauce.

Refuse to share with your significant other.

And enjoy every last bite.

-Kerith & Torrie

Cooking with Torrie and Kerith: Bruschetta

There is something heavenly about tomatoes. Even better- when they have a dash of garlic, olive oil and basil added. And perhaps even a splash of balsamic vinegar.

There is something unbelievably yummy about bruschetta. It’s an amazingly light snack and perfect for the heart healthy food consumer. In fact just typing about it makes me want some right now.

You will need:

  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • A Yellow Tomato
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Garlic

First slice and dice all of your tomatoes into small chunks.

Then slice your garlic into small, almost6 minced pieces.

 

Take your basil and cut it finely.

Mix it in a big bowl with some olive oil.

Voila!

Now if you are a huge fan of balsamic like I am- add some into your serving dish and enjoy the culmination of great flavors that is Bruschetta. Serve with some delicious tortilla strips or perhaps some crostinis of french bread.

-Kerith and Torrie

Cooking with Torrie and Kerith: Blueberry Layer Cake

This cake is awesome. But be warned. This is a “In Moderation” cake. We can’t always make something perfectly healthy- sometimes we like to indulge as well. So please enjoy this cake.

*Also- please note: While there is frosting on the cake in the pictures we are NOT including the frosting recipe. We tried it with the frosting and it was so sickeningly sweet that we actually scraped it off the cake. The only things you need are the lemon curd and the cake batter recipe. Trust us.

For the cake you will need:

  • 2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened about 20 minutes out of refrigerator
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
First things first. Preheat the oven to 350°F. And prepare three 8″ round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Sift dry ingredients into medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon flour mixture to larger bowl.

Add fresh blueberries and toss to coat them with flour. Set remaining flour mixture and blueberries aside.

Stir whole milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest in small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined.

Mix in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter equally among 8″ round pans.

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks until completely cool.

For the lemon curd:

  • 6 large egg yolks, strained
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
First you need to make your lemon zest.
  And separate your eggs and egg yolks into two separate bowls.
  1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
  1. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
  2. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour.

It’s time to put it all together!!

Take the beautiful cake out of the oven and enjoy the delicious scent.

You can take frosting ( Cream Cheese frosting would work perfectly since we are not using the recipe included frosting. You need a barrier to keep in the delicious lemon curd.)

Then you spread the now set lemon curd over the cake and in between the frosting barrier.

Then you add the second and third layers or the cake- repeating the process two more times.

At the completion of the process- you are supposed to let the cake sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. But Torrie and I could not possibly wait and so we jumped straight in and devoured a slice. (Took one bite with the frosting and then scraped it off.)

We let it sit for two days and cut some slices for our boss, Kyle and Jay our fitness director and they freaking loved it.

We know.

Kyle sent us this:

So if you have the desire for a little richness, some fresh blueberries and some fantastic cake- put this on your “to make” list and enjoy every decadent bite. And make sure to have an afternoon tea so that you share the wealth and stop at one slice. (It’s hard- we know)

-Kerith and Torrie.

Smart Shopping

I don’t know about you- but I am obsessed with Kroger. And Tom Leonards. And Walmart.

Because well- I love to eat.

I also love to save money. Now, I am nowhere near the level of TLC’s “Extreme Couponers” but I have learned a few really cool tricks in the past few months that are worth sharing.

First of all. Get an MVP card. Or a Kroger Card. Or a Martin’s Card. Because those little suckers are a mountain of savings. And honestly- it takes ten seconds of your time. Which is very, very worth it.

Next, register your card online. Kroger has this amazing program where you can load coupons onto your Kroger card. So in addition to saving on Kroger Card Savings in-store- you also can load manufacturers coupons onto your card. You can do this on the Kroger Website or on Coupons.com.

Which brings me to my third suggestion- coupons.com.

Honestly- if you haven’t identified this site yet you are living under a rock. It’s awesome. Dozen’s of manufacturers coupons are at your fingertips and all you have to do is print and take the with you.  You can get everything from make-up to ice cream discounted and it’s honored at all the stores that accept manufacturers coupons.

Lastly- Tom Leonard’s.

If you haven’t been in Tom Leonard’s you are missing out. They sell Boar’s Head deli meat and cheese for $6.99 a pound. Yeah- I said it. That’s $4 cheaper than anywhere else in town. They also have amazing deals on freshly butchered meat and baked fresh daily- baked goods. It’s a great place to get locally grown produce for a decent price and you cannot beat the staff or the service.

There is great discounts to be found around town and a lot of easy ways to save money on items that you already love to eat and enjoy anyway.

Hope this helps you to make smarter shopping choices and save a little bit of money.

-Kerith

Cooking with Torrie and Kerith: Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Sundried Tomatoes

We are really bad about putting pictures up when we have a multifaceted dish like this one.

But… it was delicious and so I don’t feel bad sharing the love with all of you in a few less pictures than normal.

We made an incredibly easy and healthy pasta dish with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, Bacon and of course- Chicken.

What you will need:

  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta (we used farfalle)
  • 5 cups bagged prewashed kale
  • 2 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Thin sliced chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine

You will gather all of your ingredients on the table. And assess where to start.

We started with cooking the bacon in the oven. Because it’s easy and only takes 20 minutes to cook the whole thing. While that is baking you should mix  your thin sliced chicken breasts with white wine, lemon juice and black pepper and let it sit in the fridge.

We then did the responsible thing and got the water boiling for our delicious pasta. The statement “a watched pot never boils” is so, so, so true. (Also this is where you place the chicken breasts in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes. We placed ours in a pyrex with the juice poured over top.)

While the water was boiling and the pasta was taking 8 minutes to cook- we had to go ahead and chop up some garlic, crushed red pepper,  and let it sit in the pan with the bacon and the drippings to get a nice flavor.

When your 8 minutes is up on the pasta- add the kale into the water- DO NOT POUR THE WATER OUT. Add the Kale and cook for two minutes.  Then drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Add pasta mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, black pepper, and salt to pan; toss to combine. Top pasta mixture evenly with bacon and cheese; drizzle evenly with lemon juice. Cut up cooked chicken breast into chunks and throw it on top.

And let the intern Josh try it!

We hope you enjoy!

-Kerith & Torrie

Road Trip Fredericksburg!

Everyone worries about a Road Trip.

And with weather warming up- people are taking a few more trips around the state. Heading off towards DC or the beach- you may even stop in at Potomac Mills or Ikea on the way.

And of course- then you have to worry about food that’s healthy and diet friendly.

So we took a little of the leg work out for you. We hopped up towards Fredericksburg and looked around to see what we could find. And surprisingly- there is a lot of HEALTHY options in the mall area.

 

At Ikea (Here are a few examples):

1. Buffalo Chicken Wrap: Spicy chicken strips in a honey wheat wrap with chips and a soda.  (Sub out the chips for fruit and the soda for water!) $5.99

2.  Saithe Herb Crusted Fish: North Atlantic Saithe crusted white fish served with mashed potatoes and carrots. $4.99

 

3. Roasted Chicken and Mashed Potatoes , Salads, Fresh fruit cups, and more!

 

Ikea has great kid friendly options and everything is portioned out correctly, even the desserts. They have a majority of their options as healthy and you are the one in control of the “extras”. The meals are affordable and the space is family-friendly. A great stop if you are looking for shopping and food.

When looking at Potomac Mills:

  • Subway
  • Quizno’s
  • Baja Bistro
  • Jerry’s Subs and Pizza
  • Cajun Street Cafe and Grille
  • Sabrina’s Pollo
  • Petra Mediterranean

As always- these are traps if you allow them to be. Go for the options with whole wheat. Avoid adding dressings or sauces that are high in fat. If you order pizza- make sure it’s loaded with veggies and meat (less space for fattening cheeses). Pay attention to food names: you want baked or roasted- nothing fried or battered.

Restaurants can be bad if you allow them to be- make wise decisions and informed decisions (Check out AFF DROP IT for more restaurant savvy ideas and information.)

 

Lastly, use your GPS.

We went to an amazing Thai restaurant nearby called Thai Orchid. It was a few miles past Potomac Mills, in a small shopping center and the food was indescribably good. With Thai food make sure to look for dishes that don’t rely on coconut milk. I had the drunken noodles- wide noodles with vegetables and chicken. I always add spice so that I engage my metabolism and kick into high gear.  Torrie had the Chicken Panang Curry- which has coconut milk. But if you half the order into a to-go container and use your portions correctly- you can still choose a coconut milk option.

 

We will be posting about some great finds as well in Williamsburg, DC, and Charlottesville in the upcoming months.  So get ready to road trip around VA!

 

-Kerith & Torrie

 

Cooking with Kerith and Kayte: Cinco de Mayo dip!

It’s Cinco de Mayo and many of you are firing up those grills and heading off to barbecues where you have to bring a dish. And you want it to be healthy.

So we did the guesswork and found the PERFECT dish to take.

Slim Layer Dip. (A fun take on seven layer dip)

What you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 ripe avocados, preferably Hass
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, preferably Greek
  • 2 cups finely shredded  lettuce
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, diced

 

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, beans and chili paste and heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the beans.

 

Remove from the heat, add 2 tablespoons water and mash until somewhat smooth. Spread in a 2-quart glass casserole dish.

 

Scatter the cheese over the beans.

 

Halve and pit the avocados; scoop out the flesh into a bowl and mash with 1 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice.

Spread the avocado over the cheese.

Pulse the yogurt with the  scallions, cilantro and jalapeno in a blender or food processor. Spread over the avocado.Top with the lettuce.

 

Add some salsa

Top with cheddar cheese

Voila!!

Delicious goodness awaits.

And to make it even better- we have the nutritional breakdown for you.

Enjoy-

Kerith and Kayte

Per serving:

  • Calories 290
  • Fat 15 (Saturated 5)
  • Cholesterol 18 mg
  • Sodium 702 mg
  • Carbohydrate 25 g
  • Fiber 10 g
  • Protein 18 g
  • (Yields 10 servings)

Snack Attack

I have a confession to make. I am an addict.

A sugar addict.

A dark chocoalte addict.

An Italian Food Addict.

I love myself some carbs ya’ll.

And I feel awful. Today we had a class project where we got to consume Oreo’s and Pizza as our celebration for the end of the semester.

Oreo’s and Pizza.

Delcious? YES. Healthy? No way. Not at all. Not even the slightest. I consumed like 600 calories of nutritionless goods.

And it’s been this way for a few weeks because, as we all know, life is hectic. And we don’t always take the time to take care of ourselves the way we should.

So this week I have been searching for some snack options that don’t involve crackers, chocolate or sour patch kids.

And I think I have done a pretty decent job.

1. Fruit salad.

There is SO much in season right now. My favorite dish to make is: diced pineapple, diced papaya, diced mango, sliced strawberries, blueberries, and for fun- kiwi and nectarines or peaches if you can find them. I like my fruit salad on the tart side so I always add in granny smith green apple chunks as well.

2. “Sour Patch Grapes”

Take some grapes, roll them around in sugar free- Jello powder and FREEZE THEM. I mean how freakin genius is that?

3. Yogurt and granola and a dash of honey

So easy to mix a bag full of granola with a small tub of greek yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Take it with you and you have an on-the-go protein packed snack!

4. Crystal Light

I know I don’t drink nearly enough water. But that’s because water is just so BLAH. So I have kicked it up with a few packs of Crystal Light drink sticks and a Lipton Tea Stick in Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea. Bring on 8 glasses a day!

5. Fridge re-arrange

I really tried to make my fridge more snack friendly. I tried to make the first thing my eye sees as yogurts, fresh fruit and precut vegetables.

6. Celery Ants

Umm how freakin cute is this? Take a slice of celery- spread peanut butter thinly. And then top with “raisin ants”. BRILLIANT and delicious. And you only need three or four to really fill you up.

7. Fruit dip

Greek yogurt. 1 tsp. Honey. 1 dash cinnamon. DEVOUR. You dont need much- and it goes wonderfully with apples!

8. Gummies.

This is my weakness. But this is where Pinterest makes me do a little dance. I mean seriously- homemade gummies without all of that other nonsense? 3 hours at 210 degrees and you have strawberry candy!

 

So join me West End in making a few snack swaps and trying some new items! And please help me by giving me some of your snacking advice or favorites.

-Kerith